Redwoods Spoil Boston’s Homecoming

Week 5 of the PLL got started with the Boston Cannons playing the California Redwoods Friday night in the first of two games on their Homecoming Weekend. The Cannons have won three straight since dropping their season opener, and can pull into a tie with the New York Atlas with a weekend sweep. Meanwhile, the Redwoods were still in search of their first win of 2024, and looking for answers on how to make their offense more consistent. Consider the answer found this week, as the shifting of Chris Gray from midfield to attack paid dividends. Gray had a hat trick as the Redwoods overcame a 7-5 deficit to win 9-7. California improves to 1-3, now a half-game behind Carolina for third place in the Western Conference. Boston falls to 3-2; they host the Philadelphia Waterdogs in their second game on Saturday.

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Redwoods defense keeps Cannons in check in first half

Marcus Holman got Boston on the board first at 1:18. Ryder Garnsey (2:42) equalized for California. Holman got his second (6:50) with an assist from Matt Kavanagh, but Wesley Berg buried a Rob Pannell feed at (7:16) to knot the game at 2-2 after one quarter of play. California took a 3-2 lead when Chris Gray found the net 46 seconds into the second quarter. Holman fired in his hat trick goal (4:43) off a pass from Asher Nolting to tie the game, but Gray scored his second (7:20) to put California back in front. Nolting (11:04) then scored unassisted to level the game at 4-4 going into halftime.

Redwoods shut Cannons out in fourth quarter for first win

Berg’s second goal of the game (0:31) put California up 5-4 early in the third quarter. The Cannons responded with a three-goal run. Holman scored his fourth of the game (5:12) to tie it. Goals from Alexander Vardaro (6:51) and Jeff Trainor in transition (7:53) followed to give Boston a 7-5 edge going into the fourth quarter. However, the Redwoods defense would step up again, shutting out the Cannons for the final 16:07 of the game. Pannell (3:40) got California within one, then long stick midfielder Jared Conners (5:17) tied it. Pannell fed Charlie Bertrand (6:42) from behind the net for the go-ahead goal. Gray then scored his hat trick goal 15 seconds later.

Other Stats of Note

Jack Kelly was stellar in net for California, making 13 saves, nine of them in the second quarter

TD Ierlan of the Redwoods outdueled Zac Tucci at the dot, winning 12 of 17 draws and grabbing seven Ground Balls

Holman finished with four goals, passing Brendan Mundorf for second all-time in 1-point goals

Nolting chipped in a goal and three assists for Boston

A week after scoring five 2-point goals in their win against Utah, the Cannons were blanked from behind the arc

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.